Richmond, CA, California


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Point Richmond

There is perhaps no other place in the Bay Area that offers a water-culture lifestyle with Golden Gate Bridge views that doesn't require generational wealth to afford. Point Richmond is a unicorn neighborhood, with groovy, small-town spirit and a walkable, stand-alone vibe. The opening of the Point Richmond Ferry stop that is direct to the San Francisco Ferry Building also means you have without parallel one of the best commutes in the world. Beautiful sunsets, Bay and ocean breezes and delicious beer and wine make the commute the best part of your day.

Point Richmond also has The Plunge, a year-round indoor swimming natatorium, with swim lessons and family swim events for when the Bay is too cold. You also have direct access to the Bay Trail that connects the area via hiking and biking trails north to Point Pinole and south to the Bay Bridge and beyond.

Point Richmond has two private marinas and the Bay Area’s premier racing yacht club, the Richmond Yacht Club. Many locals own kayaks or paddle boards for daytime and evening rides.

This quirky neighborhood also has its own social scene via the 100-year-old Hotel Mac, local brewery East Brother, beloved pizza joint Raymond’s Pizzeria and the cafe Kaleidoscope Coffee. It's not a lot but most locals say, it's enough.

Marina Bay

If you're looking for a sizable home with a view of the Bay for less than a million, check out Marina Bay. Sunset Pointe is an example of your options. It's a gated community in the Marina neighborhood where you can stroll the waterfront to local beaches, or ride your bike to Berkeley or have a sail at the Tradewinds Sailing School. The neighborhood also has several restaurants/bars, like Lara's Fine Dining and Ahn Restaurant and Bar that pull in plenty of locals for nightly refreshments.

As noted, the homes here are new and quite nice and like Point Richmond, Marina Bay is set apart from the rest of Richmond so you get more piece and quiet than the busier neighborhoods. The schools locals are zoned for are viewed as among the better options, at least until you hit high school. There are a lot of rentals in the area so easy enough to test the neighborhood prior to making the plunge to purchase.

North & East (N&E)

North & East is much loved for its safety and extremely friendly, tight-knit community. In recent years there has been a lot of remodeling of the smaller homes from all the young families moving in. The El Cerrito del Norte BART station is very close for those with a train commute (take the train if you can, the driving sucks!) One of the perks of living here is the newly rebuilt Michelle Obama elementary school. It's a shiny new example of a good school in a city craving more like it.

While there aren't much in the way of walkable commercial spaces save a single good coffee joint but you do get two great parks, Burg and Solano, right in the neighborhood, so that's a plus. The cute, "affordable" homes, in the $500-$600k range, and the culture of locals banding together to make it all work means it's an excellent choice for young couples and families